Archive for April 6th, 2009

source: Mmegi

Time flies. It is a full year since President Ian Khama took office as President of the Republic of Botswana on April Fools Day of 2008.First year in the presidency calls for all forms of reviews and evaluation. It is only through such reviews that we can gauge whether our country is being driven in the right direction.President Khama came at a time when the world economy, although it took long to detect, had entered a difficult phase.

Big economies had entered a credit crunch, which before long had degenerated into a financial crisis. Khama’s answer to productivity and service delivery has been the setting up of various innovation hubs as the main cogs that would drive the economy. Before these hubs could be in full swing the world economy took a beating and the Botswana economy began limping. Khama’s magic wand of innovation hubs will now have to be remodelled upon these harsh economic realities. The reality however is that we expect Khama to mobilise his team and come up with answers that can save Botswana from this harsh economic onslaught. Financial crisis or no crisis we expect Khama to conjure up a [continue reading]

source: News24
06/04/2009 11:41 – (SA)

Pretoria – The National Prosecuting Authority has decided to drop corruption charges against Jacob Zuma, boosting the ANC president two weeks ahead of the elections.

The decision by the NPA came after weeks of speculation about the prosecution of Zuma, eight years into the case.

The announcement was made at a media conference held at the NPA’s offices in Pretoria.

Acting NPA head Mokotedi Mpshe said the decision was one of the most difficult he has ever had to made.

Mpshe said tape recordings showed evidence of political interference and abuse of power by former Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy.

“Using one’s sense of justice and propriety as a yardstick by which McCarthy’s abuse of the process is measured, an intolerable abuse has occurred which compels a [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Kagiso Madibana

Disappointed Botswana Railways (BR) passengers are calling for an increase in train fares instead of termination of the passenger train service.

The passengers are calling the decision to halt the transportation of passengers by BR a great inconvenience to the people.

Some are calling it a grave mistake looking at the fact that Easter holidays are around the corner, and road transport already facing a major problem with transporting the number of people traveling to their home villages around these times.

Experience shows that some people eventually prefer to travel with the trains after [continue reading]

source: News24
06/04/2009 12:22 – (SA)

Pretoria – Corruption charges against ANC leader Jacob Zuma will be dropped after the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) found evidence of behind-the-scenes manipulation in the decision to prosecute him, it said on Monday.

“I have come to the difficult conclusion that it is neither possible nor desirable for the NPA to continue with the prosecution,” said acting NPA national director Mokotedi Mpshe.

He continued: “It would be unfair as well as unjust to continue with the prosecution.”

The charges will be formally withdrawn in court.

Mpshe quoted from telephone recordings between former NPA head Bulelani Ngcuka and former head of the Directorate of Special Operations (DSO), Leonard McCarthy, discussing the timing of re-charging Zuma.

These conversations happened shortly [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer
03 April 2009

Palapye Technical College (PTC) students and teachers breathed a collective sigh of relief after fears of an Ebola outbreak there were quashed following laboratory tests in Gaborone.

The scare came after a teacher at the college died of an unusual disease last week.

Public relations officer (PRO) at Palapye Primary Hospital Masego Malebang said that PTC students were briefed immediately the results were ready.

“The Palapye Technical College students were addressed about the scenario by the Palapye Public Health Department and [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter

Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Daniel Kwelagobe, was on Friday dropped from Cabinet ending days of speculation.

Permanent Secretary to the President, Eric Molale, issued a press statement Friday evening that the President had appointed Margaret Nasha as Minister of Presidential Affairs “as a result of his decision not to continue with Honourable Daniel K Kwelagobe as a Cabinet Minister in accordance with Section 43 (C) of the Constitution”.

Section 43(C) states that the “office of any minister or assistant minister shall become vacant if the holder of the office is removed from office by the president”.

Khama decided to drop Kwelagobe from Cabinet after [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
03 April

The Botswana Parliament website launched on Tuesday is expected to be used to brand the National Assembly.
Launching the website, former Education Minister and Serowe South Member of Parliament (MP) Dr Gaositwe Chiepe said it will also assist Parliament to communicate better and serve its stakeholders more effectively. She said Parliament treats its public image with care, hence it had to delay the launch to ensure that whatever appeared on the website was accurate and factual.
“Today websites are the face of organisations because your website can speak for you when you cannot, ” she said. “The websites are dynamic and interactive in that people will be able to log in to the Hansard, Order Paper, Bills, Motions, Questions and papers tabled in Parliament.
“This will enable people to follow the debate in the chamber. The standing order, committee membership and members’ CVs are also part of the information that [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
03 April 2009

Gem Diamonds has put its Gope project in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) on the backburner, as the London-headquartered diamond producer seeks to cut its costs and stay afloat in the face of the global economic crisis.

The company also suspended its debt financing exercise to raise the US$500 million required for Gope’s capital expenditure. Gem Diamonds’ said the exercise was suspended because of lack of debt capital in global markets. Prior to this suspension, Gem Diamonds had spent several months negotiating with various banks and had “a few proposals on the table,” officials said last October.

Gem Diamonds’ wholly-owned subsidiary, Gope Exploration Company, is developing the Gope Mine and initial indications were that construction at the site would begin in the first quarter of this year and production by 2011. With a resource of 79 million tonnes at a grade of 18.5 carats per hundred tonnes (cpht), it was expected that [continue reading]

source: The Standard
04 April 2009

MDC-T MPs will soon convene a caucus to consider an offer of cars from the central bank, amid warnings from political parties that such a move would compromise the independence of Parliament.

On Thursday Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono played “Father Christmas” by offering the central bank’s cars to legislators for use in their day-to-day work.

Gono said the cars would be returned after the Minister of Finance, Tendai Biti, found money to buy cars for legislators.

MDC-T Chief Whip, Innocent Gonese said the party was still to “meet as a caucus to consider the proposal to have cars from RBZ”.
Gonese, however, said some legislators were facing difficulties in travelling to their constituencies as they do not have personal cars and [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Godfrey Ganetsang

Officers at the Francistown Regional Immigration Office have their hands full as they try to placate enraged customers who are up in arms over the “shoddy service and unreasonably long queues” that they say has become a common feature at the offices.

Customers have raised complaints about the deplorable situation at the regional immigration office, saying that they are made to stand in interminably long queues, sometimes with little hope of getting service, as the office is undermanned. They maintain that the problem started when the Ministry of Labor and Home Affairs made an abrupt decision to close the District Immigration Office earlier this year. The customers maintain that the closure of the District Immigration Office was uncalled for as both offices were already operating at full capacity.

“We were used to the long queues at the district immigration offices and [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer
03 April 2009

SELEBI-PHIKWE: Minister of Lands and Housing Nonofo Molefhi has sent a strong warning that those who sell their plots will be blacklisted.

The Minister said he realised that some people who were allocated new plots in Mekorong Phase Three location in Selebi-Phikwe have already advertised to sell them even before they have developed them.

“I personally saw the advertisements for those plots in less then a month after the provisional allocation started. At the beginning of the new year already four plots were up for sale in Mekorong.”

The minister has since instructed the department of lands office in Francistown to monitor those adverts. The victim’s plots shall be withdrawn. He said that selling is an indication that the owner does not want the plot. “If you sell, that is the end of it because [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Kagiso Madibana

Batswana are left with less than two weeks to go before the official opening of the much anticipated Botswana SMME conference and fair 2009. The fair is designed to acquire the position of a one-stop shopping environment for local SMMEs.

The official opening date is expected to be the 16th of April which kickstarts with an opening breakfast ceremony that would be officiated at by the vice-president, Mompati Merafhe.

The exhibition stands will be displayed from the 16th to the 18th of April and the public will be invited to attend on the 18th, which will also be the award dinner night.

The fair, which happens to be the brainchild of the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) is said to be receiving a tremendous amount of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
03 April 2009

DiamonEx Botswana says it has been granted temporary immunity from creditors’ claims following last week’s confirmation of a judicial management order by the High Court.

DiamonEx owes its creditors an estimated P100 million, an amount the company hopes to settle by selling shares to them.

In a statement, Company Secretary Paul Crawford says following the announcement of March 2, the Board of DiamonEx Limited advises that the judicial management order granted to Diamonex Botswana Limited was confirmed by the High Court of Botswana on March 27, 2009.

“The judicial management order gives Diamonex Botswana Limited a period of immunity from claims from its creditors,” Crawford says. “Pursuant to the announcement of 20 March 2009, the Board of DiamonEx advises that [continue reading]